What evidence exists on the effectiveness of the techniques and management approaches used to improve the productivity of field grown tomatoes under conditions of water-, nitrogen- and/or phosphorus-deficit? A systematic map protocol


There is an urgent need to ensure that food production is maintained in response to either a reduction in use or lack of availability of natural resources. To this end, several strategies have been investigated to determine which agronomic approaches may improve crop yields under conditions of reduced water and/or nutrients provision, with special attention upon nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). New technologies and practices have been developed for key commercial crops, such as tomatoes. However, few of these are widely adopted in the field and evidence of their value in this production setting is limited.


This protocol sets out a systematic map methodology that aims to provide a coherent synthesis of the available evidence among the literature on the techniques and management approaches that may ensure the productivity of field-grown tomatoes under conditions of water-, N- and/or P-deficits, either as single or combined stresses. To conduct the literature search, a search strategy was produced to define the scope of the systematic map and to allow reproducibility of the approach. A list of published and unpublished sources of literature were selected and a preliminary trial identified best-fit-for-purpose search-terms and -strings. A literature screening process was set with consistency checks amongst reviewers at the title, abstract and full text screening stages. A series of eligibility criteria were defined to ensure objectivity and consistency in the selection of studies that are best suited to address the research question of the systematic map. In addition, a coding strategy was designed to set the means for meta-data extraction out from the literature for review. A drafted structured questionnaire will serve as the base for collating the meta-data to produce a database where variables will be queried for the evidence synthesis. This work is expected to inform stakeholders, researchers and policy makers regarding the extent and nature of the existing evidence base, and so serve as a basis by-which specific approaches may be highlighted as potential focal-areas in future.


Resource use-efficiency, Abiotic stress, Combined stress-tolerance, Drought resistance, Climate change resilience, Fertilisation

In Progress